In the beginning...

Posted 19 July 2017 by Matt / In Arran
The Dramble's tasting notes for Arran 10 year old

Bottle Name: Arran 10 year old

ABV: 46%
Cask Type: ex-bourbon + Sherry Casks
Distillery: Arran
Region: Islands Age: 10

It’s hard to imagine that Isle of Arran Distillery has only been around for a shy over 20 years – there’s a constantly growing number of releases from the distillery and an expanding fan base all getting exciting for the unveiling of the distillery's first official 21 year old in the next few years. The Arran core range is a mix of traditional age-statements bottlings (10, 14 & 18 year olds) and wine-finished whiskies (port, amarone, madeira, sauternes). We recently took a look at the 2017 amarone release, so there's no time like the present to take a step back to the beginning and take alook at the Arran entry level bottling – the 10 year old.

Arran’s 10 year old expression is composed of a majority of ex-bourbon American oak matured whisky with a smattering of some ex-sherry European oak. Like all Arran bottlings, it’s non chill-filtered and naturally coloured (both very good things) – that’s pretty unusual for a young entry-level bottling if you look across the rest of the market at similar prices whiskies. Likewise, it’s bottled at a very healthy 46%, again, quite a bit higher than many entry-levels which commonly come to you closer to 40% ABV.

Nose: Soft and delicate but with a basket of fresh fruits. Apples, oranges, raspberries, blackcurrants and grapes all add a fruity sweetness – add in some cotton candy and we’re pretty close to bubble-gum here (ethyl methylphenylglycidate for the more chemically driven of us). Sweet notes are tempered by ginger and very light pepper. There’s a light underlying herbalness  - the hedgerow fruits from above with some added haws, hips, nettles and light wild grass.

Taste: A solid mouthfeel and arrival. Malty flavours mixing it up with creamy butter and bakery notes – a buttery biscuit base. Fruits are much more green on the palate with apples and grapes adding a fresh summer sharpness. There’s a good level of bite and astringency here, as well as pleasant oak spicing from ginger and both salt and pepper.

Finish: Medium length, punctuated by a lovely salty tang in the tail.

A very solid entry level choice here. Arran 10 year old belies its youth with some really well balanced fresh and malty flavours. Good whisky at a good price, what's not to like?

Score: 83/100

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